Delay Messages

A reduction is sought in the numbers of young people who have been sexually active before the age of 16 by supporting young people to delay sex until such time as they are sufficiently emotionally and physically ready to handle the consequences of a sexual relationship.

Delay messages are a way that distributors can support young people to make informed choices that are right for them and help them to decide when they are really ready for sex.

All interactions regarding condom distribution with young people under the age of 16 should be framed within these messages.  The 2 main messages are:

It's ok to say 'no' - young people should be made aware that they should not be pressured into having sex whether this be from partners, friends or external sources such as the media or assumed cultural 'norms'.

It's ok to 'leave it until later' - young people should receive a balanced message that it's acceptable to delay sex until it's a positive choice.  Ideally young people will have access to quality information around sexual health topics and being positive about intimacy, sex & pleasure.

Distributors are expected to have an understanding that not all the young people approaching the service for free condoms will be having sex - many will not.  Additionally, some young people will like to access condoms to experiment with them or just carry them around and this is perfectly acceptable.